Published 12:00 am Friday, December 5, 2008
Sister M. Ethelreda Fisch, 102
Sister M. Ethelreda Fisch, 102, a Franciscan Sister of the Congregation of our Lady of Lourdes, Rochester, Minn., died at Assisi Heights on Thursday, Dec. 4, 2008.
Born Bernice Catherine Fisch on Dec. 20, 1905 in Austin, Minn., Sister Ethelreda entered the Sisters of Saint Francis in 1924 from St. Augustine Parish, Austin, and made vows in 1926. Prepared with a diploma in music and piano from the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor, she taught in schools staffed by the Sisters of Saint Francis in Minnesota, Ohio and South Dakota. Sister Ethelreda was on the faculty of the School of Musical Art in Rochester, Minnesota for 16 years after which she taught for 34 years in the music department at the College of Saint Teresa in Winona, Minn. In 1997, the College of Saint Teresa Alumni Association presented her with the prestigious Citation Award.
During her years at the College Sister Ethelreda obtained a grant to study at the University of Ghana, Africa, which provided her with a rich intercultural experience. This event resulted in her adding a class on “The Music of Black America” at Saint Teresa’s.
A talented pianist, violinist and cellist, Sister Ethelreda gave frequent concerts at the College of Saint Teresa and in St. Paul and Chicago. She loved her work, both in classroom and private instruction. Her students described her as an exceptional teacher who expected exceptional results. She was an enthusiastic, giving teacher who had a warm personality and delightful sense of humor. Sister Ethelreda retired to Assisi Heights in 1989.
She is survived by nieces and a nephew as well as the members of her religious community with whom she shared life for 84 years.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be held on Wednesday, Dec. 10, 2008 at 11 a.m. in the Chapel of Our Lady of Lourdes, Assisi Heights, in Rochester. Friends may call at Assisi Heights for the Vigil Service at 6:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Dec. 9, and before the time of the service on Dec. 10. Memorials are suggested to the Sisters of St. Francis of Rochester, Office of Benefactor Relations, Assisi Heights, 1001 14th St. N.W., Rochester, MN 55901.